[GeoStL] Re: Tennessee Cemetery & Burial Site Laws

  • From: "GC-RGS" <gc-rgs@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <geocaching@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2008 15:39:10 -0600

So, walking through a cemetery to pick up a box in the woods is a class E felony. I don't know the difference between a class E felony and a class A felony, but I assume a murder would be a different class than, say, picking up a box in the woods at a cemetery.

So from what I remember 50 years ago in my civics or social studies class, being a felon prevents you from a lot of privileges. So does that mean if I'm found guilty of caching in a cemetery, I cannot own a gun, or heaven forbid, run for president? This may change my political plans.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Glenn Nash" <GLNash@xxxxxxxxxx>
To: <geocaching@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2008 3:06 PM
Subject: [GeoStL] Re: Tennessee Cemetery & Burial Site Laws

Sure Geocaching prompted this.

Caches in cemeteries have been tricky things. Most folks are respectful and all that but, (there is always a but) others are not. There was a cache in Tennessee that required the cacher to move the burial stone somehow to retrieve the cache. This was a couple years ago. Poor taste, lots of upset people ect. In (I think Ohio) cachers were running a bit of a competition with caches in cemeteries. Very poorly done.

While cemetery caches are just fine -- they're among my favorite type of cache to hunt because I love the history and the opertunity to chat with the old folks, I try to be very careful about listing anything that is too close to a grave.

With the pending legislation in South Carolina that would criminalize geocaches in cemeteries, everyone has been taking a closer look at all caches located in cemeteries. It seems that Tennessee has now signed on to banning them. While the guidelines still permit them, we *really * want to make sure that they not placed in a manner that will reflect poorly on our sport.

With caches in cemeteries (as with any cache), you should obtain permission from the caretaker. For cemeteries that are private property, this is required. In the case of a church cemetery that would be the pastor, in the case of a city cemetery probably a municipal employee.

We ask this since graveyard hides are often in sensitive areas - particularly if people are still being interred or if relatives are still visiting those buried in the past. It becomes less of a concern if the cemetery is old and little more than a historic site, but we still want to play it safe, not give our sport any negative press.

Caches should not be on, or near graves. If its an active cemetery, its best to place them on the fringes of the cemetery where searchers are unlikely to encounter mourners. Woods bordering a cemetery are a safe bet.

Its also a good idea to place it in a manner where people will not be required to walk over graves.

Cemetery caches are controversial in some quarters and we need to be as sensitive as possible when placing these caches. We do not want to give any more state's legislatures a reason to look at this issue.

Benjamin Gross wrote:
I've been wondering when this would happen. Some cemeteries are great for caches, but I've always been leery of micros in trees among the graves.
Did geocaching prompt this, or is it coincidence?

""play at any game or amusement therein""
This wording makes it seem like they want to force cemeteries to be depressing.

On Jan 10, 2008, at 3:22 PM, Glenn wrote:

It is just a matter of time before other states jump in.

Tennessee Geocaching Polices and Guidelines

NO CACHES IN Cemeteries

Law concerning caches in cemeteries, geocaching is a game.

Tennessee Cemetery & Burial Site Laws
Statutory Laws

(Tennessee Code Annotated)
Title 46. Cemeteries
46-2-105. Crimes and offenses
No person shall willfully destroy, deface, or injure any monument, tomb, gravestone, or other structure placed in the cemetery, or any roadway, walk, fence or enclosure in or around the same, or injure any tree, plant or shrub therein, or hunt or shoot therein, play at any game or amusement therein, or loiter for lascivious or lewd purposes therein, or interfere, by words or actions, with any funeral procession or any religious exercises.

(B) A violation of this section is a Class E felony. ,
Class E Felony 1 to 6 years $3,000
Those caches that are in cemeteries now are grandfathered in unless there is a complaint ..

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